As we did throughout Advent 2011 and Lent 2012, we are blogging our way through the Advent 2012 Lectionary Readings. We love this time of year, and sharing with you in this way. Our overarching theme during this season is “Preparing the Path” and our prayer is that as we march together toward the manger, we will prepare the way for Emmanuel.
A reading from the Gospel of Luke
“It will seem like hell has broken loose–sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.
“And then–then!–they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style–a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”
He told them a story. “Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here–when you see these things start to happen, you know God’s kingdom is about here. Don’t brush this off: I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too–these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.
“But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly me a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.”
— Luke 21:25-36 (The Message)
THE END IS NEAR!
There. I said it.
Yet, before we go getting all Doomsday Prepper about it, let’s talk for a second about what that statement should and should not mean.
Should it mean to be ready? Yes. Should it mean to prepare your heart and spirit? Yes. Should it mean to stop everything you’re doing and hide out in a “spidey-hole”? No.
The end is near. Yet, here’s the question: If Jesus stood in front of you right now and said, “I’m not coming back for about 10,000 years” would it change how you live your life?
Preparing the Path is more than just getting ready for Christmastide. It’s about getting ready for Kingdomtide. It’s about getting your heart ready for the King.
It’s about getting the world ready for the King.
The. Whole. World. All of it. Every tribe. Every tongue. Every ethnos.
In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ dialogue about the end times, he records Jesus making this statement: “When the good news about the Kingdom has been preached all over the world [to every ethnos] and told to all nations, the end will come.” (Matthey 24:14 (CEV))
And, so, just as it was two thousand years ago, the end is near. And billions have yet to have opportunity to hear the “good news about the Kingdom”.
Back during the summer, Stephanie was talking to a young lady in one of the largest cities in the world. This young lady was experience a time of sorrow at the illness of a grandparent. Stephanie asked if she could pray for her in the name of Jesus. The young lady–who’s on Facebook even–has no idea who Jesus was. It is estimated that 90% of the 80 million people who live in the same nation as this young lady are in the same category–they’ve never had an opportunity to hear the name of Jesus, much less the good news of the Kingdom.
And, so, we continue to work. We continue to travel and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. We continue to support those who live “on the field.” We continue to stand on hillsides overlooking cities and asking that The Lord of the harvest would send workers into the fields (Matthew 9:38/Luke 10:2).
Prepare the Path for the Kingdom to come. Take the good news of the Kingdom everywhere you go.